Another Holiday Pictorials
Its been a hectic week. I have been criss crossin the State including flying to Sabah and Labuan. Trying to update the blog in this Wified State of ours is truly a challenging experience. This post contains some random pictures of last year's holiday I managed to take. It takes me back to those moments that will remain as another record in the mind which I hope to look back again and again. It offers an explanation when someone asks, 'did you have an enjoyable holiday?'. It has been a memorable holiday and being able to capture it in that instant time frame is witness to the importance of this wonderful technology.
Celcom wide network coverage along the Kuching - Sibu road journey has improved along time as more stretches of the roads are in Celcom's range - an interesting point to note in case there is a road emergency. And those signboards are important to guide you or at least keep you company along the way.
Driving along the Kuching-Sibu highway requires six hours of patience behind the car steering wheel. If its not your routine day to day job then it requires a lot of discipline. My daughter has adapted well to these long journeys, thank to the modern technology of hand held games . My wife will keep quiet as long as my ageing Proton Saga's air condition is working properly all the way to Sibu. Apart from just seeing the road one will pass through 600 kilometres of sceneries, meet drivers in arms who have the same mission as you - to arrive safely, and also witness some drivers who you think could be former Formula One Drivers, or they think they are Formula One drivers trying to break the speed of sound. And yes - one I love the most is to see the extent of development (or no development) along the way - comparing the area with last years' scene. You get to pass the same places once after a few months you get to 'experience' the progress of the State's development process. Like I say earlier, its true we are building great infrastructures as we get nearer and nearer to the goal of attaining that developed status. Most importantly - our mind must also be first class.
A third class mentality or driving attitude can cause us to skid out of control even if we have first class facilities or superclass highways
We have to admit that we are still way of target in terms of having a developed nation's mentality. Statistics will go to prove that. Road accidents or mishaps - the numbers may rise or they may fall but the fact is that they still occurr. Some are really avoidable and I think no amount of road signs or warnings can help reduce the numbers. Try putting high tech expensive road signs at every road bends and the metal thieves who are business oriented will have a field day carting them off in the dark of the night. Yup - we have a long way to go. Its good to think about it along that 600 km stretch of the road as it keeps you awake.
Where the Road Stops
In Sarawak our road networks do not take us very far away. Some places are not likely to see good roads passing their way. This includes my longhouse in Nanga Beguang Song. So one will have to use the longboat as an alternative. It does feel funny as I work in the State Planning Unit. The people would expect more from me but being an ordinary Joe I do not push my weight around. My comrades who are serving in the Resdient's Office and also the District Officers would know better on what needs to be done. I also trust the local YBs, be it the Member of Parliament and the Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Member has forwarded the neceessary development plans. Anyway I still enjoy the boat rides.
The Batang Rajang River Highway
Tuai Rumah Richard manning our boat
Picture of our longhouse in June 2007
Not spared: The effects of the recent December 2007 flood - gone are the green grasses
The badminton court looks as if it is covered by a layer of chocolate. However this was not highlighted much as compared to the floods in Sibu and other major towns. The news will carry fantastic headlines like: Landslide in Kapit! Luckily the water level did not reach up to the verandah like it almost did a few years back.
Shania witnesses the slaughtering of a chicken - its an adventure by itself. It really makes her curious on what grandma is doing. I have never harmed an animal myself except for the creatures that I dissect during my Biology Classes. My true Iban Warrior spirit now allows me to kill insects only espcecially those pesky mosquitoes
Double wedding: (from left) Mr. Lee Cheng Ping and Ms. Stella, Mr. Jimmy and Ms. Dicklyne - this is a fine example of a multi cultural wedding. Mutli racial and multi cultural weddings are a norm in our longhouse
Don't go without the The Fireman - it keeps the fire hazards at bay. With longhouse fires averaging once every three months. I believe its high time that these simple fire fighthing equipment be made available to all longhouses be it the concrete ones or wooden ones. With the actual Bomba Firemen who are only available in major towns and cities in Sarawak, this fireman may be the lifesaver.
Christmas in Sibu
Our Christmas was spent in Sibu.
The Christmas Trees at Sibu Town Square (Click the picture to see a larger version) . However I need to mention about some of the disappointments regarding the Christmas Trees event at the Town Square on Christmas Night. Two or Three of the trees' lights malfunctioned. I believe the organisers had enough time to make sure that this does not dampen the Christmas mood but they were nowhere near or in sight
Unique Chirstmas Tree - made up of Christmas golden Christmas ball structure
The stand alone Christmas Castle - though it helped to liven the Town Square but when one goes inside there is nothing to see. Its a Chirstmas Castle without a soul. Just empty space - and empty white walls. If there was some posters or information being pinned up inside to provide value added deco or information, it would have been worth it.
Double Celebration - Kong Si Birthday - There is this birthday party for my twin cousins which I attended at a Chinese Restaurant. I have to admit that the multi cultural aspect of this celebration really impressed me and how much we have accepted one another's culture and beliefs. The restaurant played Iban songs for the event and the other Chinese patrons did not really mind. In fact they cheered on when one of the Iban ladies sang a Chinese song.
Modern Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve at Gerija Methodist Iban Sibu - what used to be an old fashioned church at Jalan Fong Min has adopted new technology like the other odern churches. Its been ages since I dropped by this Sibu church of ours and the worshippers now can pray in the comfort of an air conditioned church with powerpoints guiding the hymms and service.